Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Three things I learned from watching an episode of The Swan last night.

1. It's true! Any average-looking woman can realize her dream of looking like a drag queen.

2. When you try to be something you're not, you end up as just that: something you're not. Only now it's painfully obvious to the rest of America.

3. Trying to be pretty is like trying to write poetry. It's pitiful and sad when you're not successful, and makes us think you have too much time on your hands. Here, Swan, do my laundry.

I know I was supposed to feel uplifted and inspired by these women overcoming "life challenges" and emerging from averagedom all spiffied up. Life challenges?

In fact, I found the whole thing sort of depressing, yet reassuring. I mean, this is the best we can hope for? You're going to spend thousands of dollars to reshape your face and come out looking like a different brand of average? Well okay. I'll pretend I used to look like a monkey and now I look fantasgreat! No one cares what you secretly wish you looked like.

If I lost ten pounds, not a single person would notice. Unless my left ass cheek literally fell off.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

More people should have pudding for breakfast. When you can drag yourself out of bed with the knowledge that there's a container of pudding in the fridge with your name on it, that's a good day in the making.

Last night I mixed up a batch of good old vanilla cook-and-serve and rummaged through the Tupperware pantry in search of vessels. (PS, I don't actually have any Tupperware, but I have a heck of a lot of mismatched Gladware and repurposed Parkay containers.) It so happens that these little yellow tubs that once held spreadable margarine are the ideal size for individual, half-cup servings of pudding. And some of them actually have lids!

This morning I packed my lunch and dropped a homemade pudding cup into the bag. But by the time I got to work, I had convinced myself that pudding was the ideal breakfast food – creamy, sweet, and packed with vitamins A &D (or so says the dairy council).

Now I'm sitting at my computer looking a whole lot like a girl eating a tub of butter with a spoon.

Anyone got a problem with that?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Let it be known that if you are putting Youngest to bed, you must not, under any circumstances, disturb the Blanket Order.

To anyone other than Youngest, the Blanket Order is a complex and seemingly arbitrary set of rules that specify when and how each of her sixteen-thousand blankets should be utilized. It is as follows:

Big Pooh is folded in thirds and goes over the back and seat of the rocking chair. Little Pooh is folded in half and goes over Big Pooh on the back of the rocker ONLY. Shawl is used to wrap Youngest during nighttime rocking. At the conclusion of rocking, Shawl is placed over Little Pooh. Shawl is a Rocking Blanket should NEVER be used for sleeping purposes. Once Youngest is transferred to her crib for tucking, Blanket Bears must drape over the side of the crib facing her nightlight, blocking out all light and negating any effects of having the nightlight on at all (but the nightlight MUST be on). Fuzzy is then placed over her and tucked in between the edges of the mattress and crib rails. NO OTHER BLANKETS, TOYS, ETC. ARE PERMITTED WITHIN THE CRIB.

Really, as long as you don't touch the blankets at all during the day, it's fairly simple to follow. And we all recognize the obsessive compulsiveness as a developmental stage necessary to Youngest gaining a sense of mastery and control over her environment.

Something happened recently that interfered with the Blanket Order and almost caused a bedtime catastrophe and the collapse of our household as we knew it.

Youngest peed on Fuzzy.

It wasn't her fault. I put her down for a nap without realizing she was wearing underpants instead of a diaper.

I took Fuzzy and her sheets down to the laundry room, intending to run the load later that afternoon. Then I promptly forgot all about it until bedtime.

I knew Fuzzy was going to be a problem, so we took it slow. We talked it out, weighing the pros and cons of sleeping with a wet, smelly pee blanket. She decided that Shawl would do as a temporary Sleeping Blanket until the return of Fuzzy.

But little did I know that sheets also factored into the Blanket Order.

I pulled out the crib sheet that matched Blanket Bears, riddled with pastel little teddy bears, and stretched it over her mattress as Youngest watched suspiciously.

"What that?" she asked.

"It's your new, fresh sheet!" I declared. I thought this would put me on her good side, since she's just emerged from a fixation on fresh sheets that had her demanding "new fwesh sheets" every single night.

"But I want my Pooh sheets!"

"Well this is your Blanket Bear sheet. It matches, see? Pooh sheets have pee on them like Fuzzy."

"But…I don't want Bear sheets!"

She protested a few more times, but I sidestepped and suggested a story to see if avoiding the issue would resolve it.

So we entered the ritual. We wrapped in Shawl. We sat on the Pooh blankets and rocked. We read. We talked about our day. Then I carried her over to her bed and started to lower her onto the Bear sheets.

When she looked down, she screamed and planted her feet on the rail, clawing her way up onto my shoulders like a cat about to be dropped into a swimming pool. "NO! I don't WANT the Bear sheets! Get them off!"

I saw then that there was no way to pretend I was in control here. I rummaged through her closet and located another Pooh sheet while Youngest sat on the floor with tears in her eyes telling me that she hated the Bear sheets and didn't want them in her bed.

When she finally settled down with Shawl tucked around her, I staggered out of her room and sank down on the couch beside Husband who had just kissed Oldest goodnight.

"Rain Man's having a rough night," I explained.

"At least she didn't make you drive to K-Mart for new underwear, too."

"Yeah. 400 Oak Street."

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Add comments to your blog, they said. Well, all right. There. I don't know how to use it or what to do with it, but now if you feel moved to comment, an appropriate venue has been provided for you.

First, three promises to myself about the comments feature:

1. I will not check back to my site every five minutes to see if someone has left a comment.

2. I will not stop to consider whether a post is comment-worthy before posting it.

3. I will not have my feelings hurt when no one comments on my posts.

This I do swear and doubly make note of, so help me, etc.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Summer wardrobe essentials for the approaching-thirty mom.

Well-padded bras.
Because nipples that have breastfed two children have no shame, and most buildings nowadays are enthusiastically air-conditioned.

Hip-hugging shorts.
Not because I'd like to flaunt my hips at you, but because my stomach doesn't like to be reminded that it's supposed to fit inside a waistband.

Capri pants.
Because the less leg I have to shave on a hot day, the better. Actually, forget it. No one's looking at my legs anyway.

Sleeveless tanks.
Because arm flab likes its time in the summer sun, too, you know.

Now it's time to go flip through the Urban Outfitters catalog and pretend I'm a bulimic suburban teenager with daddy's credit card in hand.

Monday, May 03, 2004


I know, I know.

I haven't been posting.

If I had time today to post, it would go a little something like this...

Youngest is distraught about a certain coloring book page that she colored for me and then attempted to tear out of the book. It ripped in half.

"I so sorry, Mom," she told me, handing me one half of an Easter bunny's head, scribbled with deliberate strokes of yellow and green crayon.

"It's okay, really," I assured her. "I love it! I love how you colored just above the bunny's ear with this little swirl here. Looks like a butterfly."

"I was making you a present," she explained. "I ripped it."

"I don't mind that it's a little ripped. It's beautiful. Thank you!"

More to herself than me, she went on, refusing to let it go. "I colored it for you, and then I ripped it. I so sorry."

"It really IS okay, honey!"

Jeez. We really are our own worst critic.